Just tell us your story.


Our program develops students’ skills, exposes them to new ideas and problems to be tackled, and builds a community that will continue to grow.
Wilson Leaders develop through:

  • Mentorship and 1-on-1 coaching
  • Sessions on Canadian issues
  • Visiting speakers who are leaders in their fields
  • Experiential learning, including conference participation and a self-directed community project
  • Optional brief (2-6 week) paid internship for graduate award holders
  • Space for work, studies, events and discussions
  • A community that supports winners throughout their careers


Eligible applicants to the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award are Canadian citizens with at least an 8.0 cumulative average, who will hold the award during full-time studies at McMaster.

Applicants to the undergraduate award apply in their penultimate year and hold the award in their final year of full-time undergraduate studies at McMaster.

Applicants to the graduate award can hold the award in any year of full-time course- or research-based graduate study at McMaster, and may apply as current or incoming McMaster students. The award will involve an estimated 15 hours/month commitment from September to November and January to March, and applicants are strongly advised to view the award as an alternative to a teaching or research assistantship, rather than attempt to participate in both.


Applications for the graduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards open in September 2018, for awards to be held September 2019-April 2020.  Applications for the undergraduate Wilson Leadership Scholar Awards next open in September 2019, for undergraduate students graduating in 2021.

Application materials for the graduate award must be received at wilsonleader@mcmaster.ca by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1, 2019.


"I've always been a strong, hardworking student, but my grades would not put me in a position to receive academic awards. This one was different: it wasn’t necessarily looking for a student with perfect grades, but for leadership potential, and I felt like that was me. I knew that if I had the chance, this opportunity could change my life."
— Andrew Richards, Wilson Leader (2016–2018)